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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27482
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son is being detained in Louisiana state of Missouri.I

Customer Question

My son is being detained in Louisiana for the state of Missouri.I was told that they have 30 days to come get him.But now they say when the 30 days is up, they still won't let him go.Now he has to get a attorney to file some paper to get him out. I spoke to someone on your end about this a week or so ago. So is this true?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


Extradition, unfortunately, takes as long as it will take. Generally the holding state will keep your son for as long as it is reasonable to give the wanting state a chance to get its paperwork together and send a team of marshals to come get him from where he is now. What a state considers reasonable is defined in its case law. It is at least 30 days, however. That's because there's a Federal Act called the Uniform Extradition Act that says that 30 days is a reasonable amount of time for an extradition to be completed.

States are free to make their own modifications and are not bound by the Federal Act, but because the Federal law says that 30 days is reasonable and Federal law trumps state, there isn't much one can do about a delay until after 30 days are up. Then, if there is still no movement on the part of the wanting state, your son's lawyer can file a writ of habeas corpus to bring him before the judge for the state to show good cause as to why he is still being detained and, if the state couldn't show that, to release him. This is almost certainly what you were told a lawyer has to do, and this is his remedy under these circumstances.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if he can't afford a lawyer, then what happens?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

He was probably assigned a public defender when he first came before the judge. And his public defender is a lawyer and can file the writ. You can call the court clerk and see if the public defender's office is assigned to his case and then call them.

Judges usually keep track of these cases so that they don't get lost in the system. He should have a court date on which it's expected that the court will hear from the other state. If he's never been assigned a lawyer and there's no movement, he can ask for a lawyer at that time. Alternatively, if there's no lawyer, you can call the public defender's office that serves the court and see if you can get them to step in so that he doesn't languish unnecessarily waiting for extradition.